By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
More of you are heading to “mass” instead of “services” than ever before, and so are your representatives. America was once a Protestant country, Save Jerseyans, but that’s starting to change. Big time.
We’ve previously written about Catholic gains on the U.S. Supreme Court and right here in New Jersey government, too.
That trend hasn’t abated as of the 2012 Election. The newly seated 113th Congress which began “working” this week — a term I’ll use very loosely — is the most Catholic in U.S. History (h/t Pew)…
Catholics have seen the biggest gains among the 533 members who are scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 3.1 Catholics picked up seven seats, for a total of 163, raising their share to just over 30%. Protestants and Jews experienced the biggest declines in numerical terms. Jews now hold 33 seats (6%), six fewer than in the 112th Congress, where Jews held 39 seats (7%). Protestants lost eight seats, though they continue to occupy about the same proportion of seats (56%) as in the 112th Congress (57%).
In addition, the Protestant share of each political party in the new Congress is about the same as in the 112th; roughly seven-in-ten Republicans are Protestants, compared with fewer than half of Democrats. However, the members sworn in for the first time in 2013 are less Protestant than the group that entered in 2011; 48% are Protestant, compared with 59% of the previous freshmen.
And it may not surprise you to know that New Jersey is the 4th most Catholic state in the Union; 39% of New Jerseyans self-identify as Catholic.
The political significant of Catholic affiliation is nevertheless a little deceiving. We’re mainstreamed. Analysis of the 2012 results bears out that religious fervor/activity — more so than actual affiliation — is better indicator of how you’ll cast your ballot. So if you are headed to church this morning, Save Jerseyans, there’s a better chance that you’re voting Republican than your neighbor who only shows up every Christmas Eve or not at all!
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